Rats of Tobruk – A Personal Diary

Honouring the Heroes of the Rats of Tobruk

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the remarkable chronicles of bravery and resilience from the Rats of Tobruk, as we proudly present the war diary of Captain Oscar Geoffrey Buring of the 2/43rd Battalion AIF. This meticulously kept diary offers a firsthand account of the experiences, triumphs, and challenges faced by the courageous soldiers who fought valiantly during the tumultuous days of World War II.

A Treasure Trove of Memories

Within the pages of this historical treasure, Captain Geoff Buring meticulously recorded the day-to-day life of a soldier during wartime. Through tales of camaraderie, moments of hardship, and glimpses of hope, the diary provides a rare glimpse into the lives of those who served in the blistering sands of Tobruk.

A Unique Opportunity to Connect

In our efforts to honour the memory of these brave souls, we are pleased to offer a free service on this website. The diary contains the names of countless soldiers who fought alongside Captain Geoff Buring. We understand the importance of connecting with the past and discovering one’s ancestral heritage.

Discover Your Ancestral Legacy

If you believe your relative or ancestor was among the courageous soldiers mentioned in the war diary, you now have the opportunity to learn more about their experiences. Our mission is to assist you in finding the relevant excerpts that pertain to your loved one’s service during this critical period in history.

How It Works

Explore the Names Below: Browse through the list of soldier’s names mentioned in the diary. The soldiers of the Rats of Tobruk deserve to be remembered and celebrated for their selfless dedication.

Contact Us: If you find a name that strikes a chord, get in touch with us through the provided contact form. Share the name and any additional details you may have about your relative or ancestor’s service.

Discover Their Story: Once we receive your inquiry, our team will diligently search the war diary for the relevant excerpt featuring your loved one. Upon discovery, we will freely share this valuable piece of history with you.

Special thanks go to Margaret Rowley and Anne Woolford for allowing this use of their father’s diary.

Soldiers’ Names

The following names were computer extracted from the diary text so there may be incomplete or misspelt names.

Page One
Bob Tapp, Bob Sangster, Jack Pollock, Dave Siekmann, Bob Longbottom
Page Two
Jack Angels, Bob Tapp, Fred Penner, Jean Otto, Bruce Woods, Lt-Col Rhoden
Page Three
Merv. Jeanes, Bob Tapp, Lt. Col. Collins, Dave Siekmann
Page Four
Bob Tapp, Lt. Col. Collins, Capt Fellows, Mrs. Collins, Maj Frith, Maj Ligertwood, Bill Hayward
Dave, CSM Campbell George, Don Taylor, Merv Jeanes, Sudholz, RWS, CSM Woods,
Page Five
Ron Tucker, Laurie Catchlove, Sgt Jock Cameron, Pte Archer, Capt Stretton, Lt Stewart, Ivan Hare, John Hodgetts
Page Six
Major Griggs
Page Seven
Sgt. Tom Hudson, Batman Cliff Harris, OC Cook Jock McLean, Bugg Coventry, Dave Duthie, David Aufderheide, Williamson, Major Frith, Dave Siekmann, Laurie Catchlove, Fred Morris, Maj Ligertwood, Capt Williamson
Page Eight
Lieut Minocks, Max Worthley, Ken Barretts, Matthews AG, Capt Tucker, R W Sangster, Laurie Catchlove, RPT, Brian Hemming, Padre McDonald, Major Frith, Conroy, Col Moten
Page Nine
Sgt. Jack Williams, Cpl Ted Wilcox, Pte Speck, Dick Wegener, Dave Siekmann, Bob Sangster, Major Conroy
Page Ten
Tommy Hudson, Pop Heitmann, Johnny Harris, Hardy Wilton, Tom Hudson, Jack Williams, Bob Sangster, Maj Frith
Page Eleven
Dave Duthie, Cpl Bonner, Jock McLean, Cookie, Matthews, Richardson, Clayton, Branson, Stewart, Popeye, Johnny, Menzies, Blamey, Churchill, Lord Conroy, Jim Calliss, Tony Schultz, Stinker Fahy, Curly Richardson.
Page Twelve
Cpl A.E. Loechel, Sgt. F. Hudson, Pte H. Callis, Pte Mal Whittington, Pte R. Young, Pte H.J. Harris, Pte M.F. Haydon, Pte R.G. Heitmann, Pte L.E. Smith, Pte F.E. Matthews, Pte G.H. Francis, Cpl R.J. Bonner, Pte J.A. Stephens, Pte L.A. Schultz, Pte A.E. Bugg, Pte D.L. Stewart, Pte G.C. Smyth, Pte R.S.C. Jones, Pte V.H. Samuells, Pte A.C. Smith, Pte J. Quigley, Pte L.R. Smith, Cpl. E.W. Shepherdson, Pte H.R. Branson, Pte N. Clayton, Pte H. Rowe, Pte R. Richardson, Pte H. Probert, Pte D. Aufderheide, Pte O.C. Cook, Pte R.E.B. Fahy, Pte J. McLean, Pte L.M. Jones, Pte A.G. Matthews, Pte F.J. Knight, Pte J.D. Gilliland, Pte R.B. Wing, Pte J. Wing, Pte G.H. Webster, Pte P.A.F. Myers-Shearer, H.M. Conroy Maj, Johnny Harris, Major Conroy, Marj, Frithie, Lt Les Pratt, Lt John Minnocks, John Pollock, Longy.
Page Thirteen
Les Pratt, Lt Anderson, Sangy Bob Sangster, Popeye, Johnny, Tom Hudson, Mr. Reilly.
Page Fourteen
Tom Hudson, Capt Bill Williamson, Frithie, The Trump, Cpl Bonner, Cookie, Doc Matthews, Laurie Catchlove, Sheppie, Ted Loechel, Bill Sheppie, Sgt Jack Williams, Tommy Hudson, Johnny, Popeye, Ron Bonner, Gilly.
Page Fifteen
Shorty, Brian Hemmings, Capt. Jeanes, Max Worthley, Brenton, Fred Stretton, Ross Richmond, Fl Lt Smith, Popeye, Peter Christie, Don Taylor, Sangy.
Page Sixteen
Doc Matthews, Johnny Harris, Bob Tapp, Sangy, Dick Hanson, Howard Scudds, Popeye, Ron Bonner, Jim Callis, Smith AC, Myers Shearer, Don, Smith, Jack Williams, CSM Woods, Laurie, Frithie, the King.
Page Seventeen
Jack Williams, Jock McLean, Bill Carlton, Dick Whittington, Doc Rice.
Page Eighteen
Jock McLean, Johnny Harris, Doc Matthews, J. Williams, M.W. Whittington, H.J. Harris, R.E.B. Fahy, A.C. Smith, R.J. Bonner, L.A. Schuetz, G.H. Webster, H. Callis, R.S.C. Jones, L.R. Smith, R.G. Heitman, A.E. Loechel, R. Young, A.E. Bugg, M.F. Haydon, J.A. Stephens, G.H. Francis, G. Smyth, E.W. Shepherdson, N. Clayton, F.J. Knight, J. Wing, R.B. Wing, L.M. Jones, D.H. Aufderheide, P.A.F. Myers-Shearer, L.O. Blight, N.C. Bocher, A.E. Winchester, D.H. Grocke, J. McLean, F.G. Matthews, Sangy, Jack, Ron Bonner, Popeye.
Page Nineteen
Bill Sheppie, Pat Clayton, Roy Young, L/Cpl Bocher, Sheppie, Pat, Roy Young, Jack Williams, Jack Burton, Norm Bocher, Doc Rice, Dick Whitington, OK Samuel, Lieut Salisbury, Capt Williamson, CSM Bruce Woods, Ted Lochel, Dave Siekmann, Johnny Harris, Dick Whittington.
Page Twenty
Doc, Stinker Fahy, Pat Clayton, Eric Grant, Bob Tapp, Capt McCarter, Sangy, Eric Martin, Capt Cobb, Laurie Catchlove, Lieut Angus, Sgt Hudson.
Page Twenty-one
Ted Loechel, Hardy Wilton, Jack Williams, Tony, Jock McLean, Capt Williamson, Smith AC, Bugg, Laurie Catchlove, Sgt. Hudson, Sheppie, Pat Clayton, Shep, Tony Schultz, Max Worthley, Curly Richardson, George Webster, Dick Whittington, Jack W.
Page Twenty-two
Eric Gregory, Dick, Pte Davis, A. May, Sangy, Jack Williams, John Dowie, Joe Hoskins, Tony Schultz, Bob Tapp, Sgt. Hudson, Max Worthley, John Gough, Dave Siekmann, Sheppie.
Page Twenty-three
Maj. Ligertwood, Jack Williams, Bob Tapp, Maj Smith, Skinner Matthews, George Smyth, Mick Haydon, Jim Callis, Dave Siekmann, Sangy, Capt Williamson, Sheppie, Pat Clayton, Bob Tapp, John Hodgetts, Bill Hayward, John Sunter, Frithie, Tony Schultz.
Page Twenty-four
Ted Lochel, Frithie, Bill Hayward, Eric Grant, John Sunter, Bob Tapp, Pat Clayton, Roy Young, Jack Williams, Jock McLean, Bell CA, Sgt Murray, A/Cpl Pike, Pte Bocian, Ray Michell, Capt McCarter, John Pollock, Dave Siekmann, Padre, RAP Sgt, DL. Brown, Jock Williams, Bill Shepherdson, Doc Matthews, Young, Jonah, Quigley, Dick Wegener, Don Waite, McDonald, Walker, Bob Tapp, Roy Michell.
Page Twenty-five
Bill Shep, Jack W., Tobruk, Dick Wegener, Ted Loechel, John Afford, Alf Hansel, Bob, Roy Young, Frithie, Jack Williams, Marj, Laurie, Willie, Bob Tapp, Auntie Dora, Jim Wight, Coralie, Geo. Macintosh, Jerry, Sgt Webber, Pat, Bardia Bill,
Page Twenty-six
Laurie, MO (Anderson), Dick Wegener, Padre, Cpl Bevis, Giles, Sgt Ware, Sgt. Webber, Fritchie, Ted, Smolensk, Fritchie, Sangy, Lt.Col Conroy, Doc Rice, Bardia, Ellis Waring, Major Ligertwood, Cpl Burvill,
Page Twenty-seven
Sangy, Bruce Woods, Bet, BHQ, Mum, Marj, Polish, 18th Brigade, 9th Bn, Mum, Marj, Goldsbro girls, Sangy, Tony Schultz, Sheppie, Bette, Betty, Grandma Cole, Mavis, Marj, Russo-German, Sheppie, Tony Schultz, Johnny Harris, Gordon Francis, John Gordon, Tobruk, Bette, Pat, Mum, John Gordon, Pte Smith, Eric G., Curly R, Gol, Fahy,
Page Twenty-eight
Laurie, Sangy, Willie, Jack, Woodsy, Popeye Heitman, Roy Woods, AM Mitchell, ET Clothier, Buring, Shepherdson, Whittington, Smith AC Ashton, Schultz, Jones RSC McLean, Matthews FG Smith LR, Stott LG, Stott LR, Webster, Heitmann, Young, Haydon, Bugg, Francis, Sammels, Quigley, Page, Smyth, Wing RB, Knight, Aufderheide, Woods, Mitchell WR, Clothier, Darling Stratford, Jack Cameron, Marj, Dick Whittington, Menzies, Fadden, Willie, Jock Cameron, Don Reid, Sheppie Fred Knight, Jack Wing, Frithie,
Page Twenty-nine
TM (Conroy), Marj, Dick W., Smith LR, Smith AC, Smith LE, Frithie, Sheppie, Tony, Willie, Frithie, Don Reid, Woodsy, Laurie, Jack Edwards, Marj, Mum, Bette, Jim Hardy, Anne, A Lena, Jim, Pat Clayton, Barney Mitchell, Vic Sammels, Blue Jones.
Page Thirty
Hardy Wilton, Marj, Willie, Don Reid, Jock McLean, Marj, Mum, Bette, Bob Tapp, Dick Whittington, Red Loechel, Mar-in-law, Willie, Reid, Mortans, Jock Cameron, Jock McLean, Phil Ferries.
Page Thirty-one
Willie, Albo, Melbo, Laurie, Roy Young, Reid, Ferrier, Dick, Frithie, Auntie Ellie, Marj, Sheppie, Cpl Parker, Jervis, Lt Ron Beer, Lt Glyn Evans.
Page Thirty-two
Ron Beer, Glyn Evans, Dick Whittington, Marj, Mum, Bob Tapp, Don Taylor, Bill Sudholz, Jack Burton, Stewy, Ted Loechel, Lt Col MacDonald, Maj Cavete, Ken Jacob, Dick Whitt.
Page Thirty-three
Dick, Col Conroy, Col Macdonald, Ken Jacob, Marj, Capt. Money, Maj Cavete, Melbourne Bitter, Mum, Bob Tapp, Ron Bonner, Sheppie, Jack Williams, Red Loechel, Skinner Matthews, Stinker Fahy, Cookie, Bob Tapp, Roy Michell, Jim Callis, Gilliland, Sangy, Colin Bell, Jerry, Sheppie.
Page Thirty-four
Maj. Cavete, Jerry, Marj, Glyn Evans, Bob Howland, Ron Beer, Fred McGregor, Claudette Colbert, Mum, Schultz, Hayes, Buring, Evans, Howland, Kasper, Long, Berlstein, Evans LG, Jacob, Tilney.
Page Thirty-five
Glyn, Bob, Ron, Alan Schultz, Charlie Chaplin, Marj, Mum, Dick, Moggy Heffernan, Wiese, Goldsbroughs, General Maitland-Wilson, Dick Harmer, Glyn Evans, Bob Howland, Maj Cavete, John Sunter, Anne, Ma-in-law, Auntie Ellie, WOII SJ VAINS, Loretta Young, Ron Beer, Ken Jacob.
Page Thirty-six
Col McDonald, Staff Vains, Dick, Glyn Evans, Laurie Catchlove, Jim Ferrier, Jock Cameron, Alby Bugg, Pat Clayton, Bob Howland, Alan Schultz, Ken Jacob, Lloyd Evans, Marj, Mum Bette, June, Jim Hardy, Gran Cole, Frank Hayes, Willie, Ron Tucker, Anne Hambour, Bette, Lorna Mead, Ron Beer.
Page Thirty-seven
Sacha, Glyn Evans, Bob Howland, Col Crellin, Sangy, John Sunter, Caps Jeanes, McArter, John Hodgetts, Capt. Willie, Laurie Catchlove, John Gordon, Dave Sicho, Merv, Mac, Hodgy, Marj, Mum, Pop, Umpires, 4/cpl EW Godden, Merv Jeanes, ‘Doc Rice, Sister Carmen, Don Reid, Phil Ferrier.
Page Thirty-eight
Laurie, Doc Rice, Willie, Frithie, John Gordon, Mum Lal, Jim GM, Bette, Marj, Stewy, Joe Quigley, Capt Mac Padre, Ann Sothern, Dick Wegener, Capt McCarter, Phil Ferrier, (MAJ) Howard Scudds, (Capt) Bent Denman, Bert, Fred (Barman), Mussa Behai, Howard Sudds, Madame.
Page Thirty-nine
Ron Tucker, Laurie, Sister Hambour, Sophie Toua, Mine Kerfeld, Cam. George, Jock Cameron, Hardy Wilton, Brian Hemmings, Frithie, GC, GS, Capt Frank Allchin, Willie, Campbell George, Phil Ferrier, Frank Davies, Don Reid, Fred (Barman), Sacha, Cpl Ralph Dashwood, Freddie King.
Page Forty
Ralph Dashwood, Fred King, Deana Durbin, Jim Hardy, A.Lina, Don Reids, Jack Edwards, Phil Ferrier, Capt Jeanes, Frithie, Ligertwood, Willie, Major Rosewear, Capts Peter Sickman, Robertson, Joe Stevens, Lieuts Peter Roberts, Arthur Porter, Geo. Rosewear, Ron Tucker, Mum, Maj. G. Brennan, Capt. G. Dixon, Pte Baker F.J.
Page Forty-one
Phil Ferries, Jock McLean, Maj. Willie, Marj, Misses Bushell, Pam, Willie, Don, Lt.Col. Fidock, Don Taylor, Cap Mac.
Page Forty-two
Lieut Col. Wayne, Marj, Mum, Gen. Moreshead, Willie, James Stewart, Margaret Sullivan, Marj, Laurie Catchlove, Frithie, Don Taylor, Clark Gable, Myrna Loy.
Page Forty-three
Phil Ferrier, Col. Wayne, Mrs. Crellin, Sangy, Ron Tucker, Frank Davies, Charles Boyer, Bette Davis, Dick Wegener, Jock Cameron, Glyn Evans, Major Williamson H.J., Lieut Buring, O.G., Lieut Ferrier, P.L., Lieut Cameron, J.C., Lieut Reid, D.M., Willie, Mum, Marj, Hardy Wilton, Glover, Combe, Anna Neagle, Bob Tapp, Gough, Stewy, Lt.Col Whitehead.
Page Forty-four
Col. Lloyd, Col Wain, John Pollock, Frank Davies, Phil, Rommel, Churchill, Col. Whitelaw, Frithie Ivan Hare, Hodgy, Steven Barrett, Longbottom, Jock Cameron, CO, Myrna Loy, Robert Taylor.
Page Forty-five
Cam George, Jock Cameron, Don Taylor, Doug Gray, Phil Ferrier, Merv. Jeanes, Fred Stretton, Willie, Don Reid, Coen, Ivan Hare, Ron Tucker, Eric Grant, Frank Nicholls, Freddie Burr, Brian Magarey, Reg Batten, Michy Atkins, Capt Simms.
Maj. Batten, Col. Lloyd, Marj, Don Taylor, Cpl Kasehagen, Ron Tucker, Geo Baxter, Geo Hancock, Harry Tait, Anne Delycia.
Page Forty-seven
Jock McLean, Brian Hemmings, Doc Rice, Frithie, Maj Thunn, Willie, Frank Davies, Col. Lloyd, Hadey, Ken Barret, Jock, Don, Gen. Moreshead, John Hodgetts, Dick Easton, Phil Ferrier, Don Reid, Sgt. Hudson, Jock Cameron, Capt Tucker, Marj.
Page Forty-eight
Maj Ligertwood, Pollard, Jones, George Arliss, Smith AC, Maj Willie, Padre Macdonald, Marj, Ma-in-law, Mum, Bette, 2nd Lt. Paul, Mr. David, Sgt. Woodman, Mabs, Pop Wight, Frithie, Pop, June, Don Taylor, Anne, Don Reid, Jock Cameron, Jim.
Page Forty-nine
Willie, Mum, Don Reid, Ivan Hare, Brian Hemmings, Dick, Frithie, CO, Hardy, Ron Tucker, Jock Logan, Blue Peddar, Cpl Hobbs, Jock Cameron, John Gordon, Dave Sicko, Ross Richmond, Macdonald, Gordon Stanton, Jack Williams, Laurie Catchlove
Page Fifty
Ned Sparks, Blue Crawford, Lt. AM Bennett, Ross Richmond, Ned Sparkes, Ross Macdonald, Stanford, Jack Williams, Marj, Major Court.
Page Fifty-one
Col Conroy, Leslie Howard, Doc Cayton, Laurie Catchlove, Jock Cameron, Dave Siekmann, Ron Tucker, Murray Cahill, Johnny Appollo, Laurie Catchlove, Jock Cameron, Jack Burton.
Page Fifty-two
Harold Coppock, John Morrish, Ron, Murray.
Page Fifty-three
Harold Coppock
Page Fifty-four
Norm Bartel, Harold, Jeffry Farnol, Capt. Armand, Bruce Woods, Jean Otto, Mr. Otto, Mrs. Otto, Jack Angels, Mr. Jack Angel, Ken, Phil, Fred Renner, Uncle Jacks.
Page Fifty-five
Harold, Marj, Anne, Uncle Jack, Mabs, Auntie Kate, Skipper, Keith Bailey, Mrs. Redden, Mr. Redden, Mum, Mac.

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